Se­crets of BAT­MAN

THE SU­PER-SMASH’S STARS RE­VEAL WHAT IT WAS RE­ALLY LIKE FIGHT­ING CRIME IN GOTHAM CITY

Closer Weekly - - Memory Lane -

They were a Dy­namic Duo from day one. “I met Adam West 15 min­utes be­fore we did our first screen test,” Burt Ward (aka Robin) tells Closer of the ac­tor who played the Dark Knight in the kitschy 1966–’68 TV se­ries Bat­man. “Within five min­utes, we were laugh­ing, and we never stopped laugh­ing for 50 years!”

Sadly, Adam died of leukemia at 88 in 2017, but his legacy lives on in the new “20th Cen­tury Su­per­hero Leg­ends” ex­hibit at LA’s Hol­ly­wood Mu­seum. “It’s re-cre­at­ing an en­tire era,” Burt, 73, says. “It’s like be­ing back on the set.”

De­spite the stars’ shared sense of hu­mor, they didn’t al­ways joke around. “The hard work that was be­ing done doesn’t show on film,” re­mem­bers Lee Meri­wether, 83, one of three ac­tresses to play Cat­woman on the se­ries (the oth­ers were Julie New­mar and Eartha Kitt). “Some­times it wasn’t easy. But, hey, you put on a smile and sing a happy song!”

It even got down­right dan­ger­ous at times. of the first six days we shot,” mar­vels Burt. “I got sec­ond-de­gree burns, and a bro­ken nose from a two-by-four fall­ing on my face. The pro­duc­ers took out a very large life in­surance pol­icy on me, and I could swear they were try­ing to col­lect on it!”

HOLY HEART­BREAK!

“We were very ded­i­cated to mak­ing the show fun for the fans.” — Burt Ward, to Closer

Burt and Lee con­fess that Adam’s death left a bat-shaped hole in their hearts. “I think of him be­cause I have sev­eral pic­tures of him around my house,” says Lee. “I say hello to him ev­ery day.” Adds Burt, “The hard­est part is when I’m out sign­ing au­to­graphs, and I turn around and see that empty chair.”

Still, the fans’ love for the show will never die. “Ev­ery­body wants to do some­thing big­ger than life — some­thing grand and heroic,” says Burt. “And that’s what Bat­man was for all the view­ers who grew up watch­ing the show, putting on their bath-towel capes and jump­ing off the couch.” — Bruce Fretts, with re­port­ing

by Amanda Cham­pagne-Mead­ows

“I told Adam he looked crosseyed in the mask” re­calls Burt. “And he said I looked like a rac­coon!”“There was no ego,” Lee Meri­wether says of work­ingwith the Bat­man cast.

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